Oleksandr Usyk says he’s thinking thoughts that might “scare” the media right now if he revealed them ahead of his title fight against IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua this Saturday night.
Joshua will be defending against WBO mandatory this Saturday, September 25th, at the Tottenham Hotspurs Stadium in London, UK. 70,000 fans will be on hand for the fight in the sold-out stadium.
Although Usyk isn’t known for being a big puncher, he’s got good power in his left hand when he puts everything into the shots.
Usyk has stopped two out of his last three opponents since 2018, which shows that he hits plenty hard enough to score a knockout over Joshua.
Joshua can be hurt
We saw Usyk stunning Derek Chisora and Chazz Witherspoon with shots when he sat down on them. We also saw how Usyk laid out Tony Bellew with a hard left to the head in the eighth round of their fight in 2018.
If Usyk could hurt those guys with headshots, he can do the same to Joshua, who doesn’t possess the most outstanding punch resistance.
For this fight, Usyk (18-0, 13 KOs) has trimmed his hair to the style that he refers to as the 17th-century Cossack warrior look.
This is the short-haired style that Usyk had during his time in the amateur ranks in Ukraine. The only difference doesn’t have a patch of long hair that he had then.
Usyk intends on winning this fight, and if he does, it would be a catastrophic blow to Matchroom Boxing and Eddie Hearn.
Ideally, Joshua wins or loses to Usyk by a razor-thin margin, as that would make a rematch huge, attracting a lot of interest from boxing fans.
Usyk is thinking scary thoughts
“Ukrainian warriors of the 17th century called Cossacks,” said Usyk to iFL TV on why he chose to cut his hair off.
“I just believe this,” said Usyk in why he believes he’ll beat Joshua. “He’s a very famous guy. Even old ladies in our country know him,” Usyk said of Joshua.
“Old people of Ukraine know Anthony Joshua. I’m not a superstar. All life is a game. Everything comes from the lord, and I’m happy with all I have. Boxing will happen Saturday night,” said Usyk.
It sounds like Usyk wants to damage Joshua on Saturday night when they meet at the Tottenham Hotspurs Stadium in London.
Usyk seems to be hinting that he will be focusing on his power for this fight with Joshua, as he doesn’t stand much of a chance of winning a 12 round decision.
It’s too risky for Usyk to be thinking of winning a decision against Joshua because that would require that he weave his way through 12 dangerous rounds to try and get the victory.
Usyk doesn’t want to eat leather from Joshua for an entire fight on Saturday, and that’s why he’s likely focusing on trying to KO the big 6’6″ AJ.
Joshua vs. Usyk = bigger than Klitschko fight
“It gets bigger every single day,” said Eddie Hearn to IFL TV on the Joshua vs. Usyk fight. “I’ve never seen him so excited about a fight. The reason I think he’s excited is that he rates Usyk, and he’s really up for it because he knows it’s a big challenge.
“You only have to look at the interviews to know how difficult this will be for AJ, and it will be a difficult fight.
“But how exciting is it? Normally you go into a fight, and AJ is a 7 to 1, 9 to 1 favorite, and everyone presumes he’ll walk through everyone.
“How exciting. This one can be bigger than the Klitschko fight. In terms of its numbers, in terms of its demand and lure by the time Saturday comes around. But it’s just a brilliant fight.
“This young man, Anthony Joshua, keeps accepting these challenges,” said Hearn. “It doesn’t matter who it is.
“He’ll keep rising to the challenges. I believe when he wins on Saturday, let’s give him the utmost respect for being a pound-for-pound great.
“For someone with his draw, not to take some knock-over job somewhere, it’s unheard of.
“I’m super proud, super excited. I’m buzzing for the fight. It’s a great fight. Usyk is a great fighter, but AJ looks so good, so strong. He’s ready for Saturday night.
“I’ve got no tickets left. This is going to be one of the best nights you’ve ever seen in British boxing history,” said Hearn.
That will be something if Joshua vs. Usyk brings in better PPV numbers than AJ’s fight with Wladimir Klitschko in 2017.
If that happens, it would be more of a product of Joshua’s popularity has grown in the last four years, than fans viewing his fight with Usyk as a dangerous one.
Usyk isn’t a massive name in the heavyweight division, and he’s not super popular worldwide. The one thing that is different about this fight compared to the others that Joshua has had in the last four years is that he’s facing a complete fighter since his match with Klitschko.
It’s no secret that Joshua’s opposition since the Klitschko fight, and even before that, have been flawed guys that didn’t bring much of a threat to him.
There are a small handful of heavyweights in the division that would be risky fights for Joshua, but he hasn’t been matched against them for some reason.
Joshua’s opposition since 2017:
- Alexander Povetkin
- Kubrat Pulev
- Andy Ruiz Jr. x 2
- Joseph Parker
- Carlos Takam
Let’s face it, those aren’t outstanding fighters, and none of them rated a world title shot in the true sense. Povetkin and Pulev were 40-years-old, Carlos Takam 37, and Ruiz Jr. and Parker were flawed fighters.
Ruiz Jr. was a replacement brought in to face Joshua after initially scheduled opponent Jarrell Miller was pulled from the fight.
Ruiz Jr. wasn’t expected to be competitive with Joshua, and the only reason he won was that AJ being careless after dropping him in the third round.